MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes did not beat around the bush after the loss to Angola in Group A of the 2023 Fiba World Cup.
Reyes called it how it is: Gilas won’t win with a poor shooting performance.
That’s exactly what happened as Gilas fired blanks and dropped an 80-70 decision to Angola and its smothering defense.
“In the end, that was the story. I thought we took care of the ball a lot better tonight. Eighteen percent from three is not going to get it done,” said Reyes on Sunday night at Araneta Coliseum.
“We held them below 40 percent but basketball is a game of points. If you can’t put up enough points on the board it’s hard to win.”
Gilas shot miserably from downtown, sinking only four of its 22 attempts.
No one was spared from the shooting struggles. Not even Jordan Clarkson, who shot just 7-of-22 from the field including 1-of-8 from distance.
Gilas zoomed to a 28-17 lead in the second quarter but only to see Angola mount a rally.
“We got off to a nice lead early but we knew Angola was going to make a comeback, we got hammered on the boards,” said Reyes.
Angola had 20 offensive rebounds and had 14 second chance points off it.
Despite being the only winless team remaining in Group A, Gilas still has a shot at advancing to the next round.
“We just need to focus on the next game. The objective is to get to the Olympics, so no matter how flickering that hope is, that hope is still alive,” Reyes said.
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